Why study African Studies?

African studies exposes students to courses that deal with African culture, literature, history, geography, philosophy, sociology, politics and economic development of Africa. Although the courses will focus on the entire continent, students may, upon the advice of the director and availability of qualified faculty, develop a region or a field of interest. Others might want to have special concentration in history, economics, political science or literature.

Courses that fulfill the requirements for the African studies certificate also allow non-major undergraduates to fulfill college core requirements, including foreign language, humanities, and literature. For instance, students interested in the Swahili language have the possibility of taking various course distributions from the basic language level to culture and literature courses in Kiswahili up to a minimum of 30 credits. Students in the certificate program complete 30 credit hours that can include 15 credits of basic language study and other courses offered by the Department and other academic units throughout the University. The certificate is designed for students who want to develop a specialty in African studies that will complement their existing area of study.

Admission Requirements

Students already pursuing a degree in any college at UC can add the certificate to their program. Be sure to submit a declaration of the certificate program using our online form.

In addition, you must meet with the program director so that they are aware that you are pursuing the certificate and can advise you appropriately. Do this early enough to avoid delay in obtaining your certificate.

Students not currently pursuing a degree may declare the certificate after establishing non-matriculated status.

People who are successful in African studies possess strong verbal and writing skills, making them excellent communicators. They work well with adults, children and the elderly. Many enjoy travel, finding firsthand experience necessary to learn more about the cultures of the Diaspora. African studies students have versatile personalities and are able to adapt to many different circumstances.

A certificate in African studies presents a wide array of possibilities both educational and professional. The certificate program not only benefits students preparing for graduate education in liberal arts disciplines, but also can be used in conjunction with any traditional major to prepare for many professions.

With more than 50 countries and a population of over 700 million, Africa represents excellent investment opportunities for American businesses. The end of the Cold War and the current political changes in South Africa make the continent even more attractive to American companies. Many of these businesses offer overseas employment opportunities to students with some knowledge of Africa. The certificate program helps to prepare students to satisfy that need. In addition, students interested in foreign service positions or other government agencies such as the United States Information Service, the Peace Corps or the Agency for International Development might buttress their chances of employment and careers with a certificate in African studies. Jobs with international organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations are other possibilities.

With the growing emphasis on multi-cultural education in the United States, a certificate in African studies is added advantage to students interested in a teaching career at both the elementary and secondary levels.

Graduates pursue many different careers. A few examples include:

  • Foreign service positions
  • Government agencies 
  • The Peace Corps 
  • The Agency for International Development 
  • World Bank
  • The International Monetary Fund 
  • United Nations positions
  • Elementary and secondary levels of education

Contact the program director, whose name and information appear at the top of this screen.

Students in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-extensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

Make sure that you have declared the certificate program online. Next, make sure that the certificate program director is aware of when you are finishing the program. If you are pursuing another bachelor's degree, then your certificate will be reviewed at the time that you submit your separate degree application.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

John Kalubi
French-West 3622A
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0370
(513) 556-4232

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Program Code: 15CRT-AFS-C2